By: Savannah Adams
Over the past two weekends, the Thiel Players have performed a play by the name Iphigenia in Tauris by Euripides. To start, the viewers are met with a dark room with an altar placed in the center. What happens next captures the audience for the rest of the play. Women in white walked into the center of the room from every angle and started to introduce the audience to Iphigenia, a young woman who was saved by the goddess Artemis from sacrifice and now serves her temple in Tauris. The show starts with Iphigenia, played by Sylvia Patterson, sacrificing a limp man who was carried in by several guards. She then has her hands cleansed by the women in white while telling the audience about her early life and how she ended up in Tauris. After finding out that Iphigenia’s father was going to kill her, the viewers find that she was saved but separated from her family. Iphigenia misses her dear mother and siblings and yearns to see them again. What if it were possible?
As the next scene starts, two men come walking up to the stage while holding lanterns, searching for Artemis’ temple to retrieve the statue of Artemis to appease the Furies for Orestes’s crime of matricide. They turn around and find the bloody altar. Scared, Orestes, played by Roy ‘Trey’ Wilt III, is angered by the Furies for sending him to such a vile place. Without an attempt to enter the temple, Orestes and his partner, Pylades, played by George Tice, return to the shore in hopes of escaping before anything terrible happens.
To their demise, a group of herdsmen spots them and volley attacks at the two men. After successfully tiring the travelers, the guards bring the two men back to Artemis’ temple for sacrifice. After notifying Iphigenia, the guards untie the men and go into the temple. Iphigenia then questions the men, Orestes being uncomplying at first. After intense negotiation, Iphigenia decides to let one of the men go. Orestes chooses to let his companion go back home since Pylades is married to his sister. Iphigenia acknowledges the sacrifice and asks for a favor. She wishes to send a letter back to her homeland to give to her younger brother. Pylades agrees but has some worries. He asks what he should do if the letter gets destroyed and Iphigenia tells him that he must recite it from his memory. She tells Pylades that her younger brother must come and free her from the temple and take her back home. After hearing this, Pylades agrees and walks to Orestes. Pylades declared that he carries a letter from his sister and Iphigenia is in pure shock. She turns around and seems to be in disbelief. Orestes and Iphigenia then share a heartwarming scene of reuniting with one another before quickly finding a plan of escape.
Behold King Thoas, played by Nathaniel Meth. He struts out of the temple and asks Iphigenia if the sacrifice had been completed. The plan ensues and Iphigenia informs the king that the men were tainted with matricide and must be cleansed before being offered to the gods. He questions about Iphigenia holding the wrapped statue of Artemis and she tells him that one of the men had touched it, so it also needs to be cleansed. He nods and sends Iphigenia, the travelers, and three guards to the sea to clean the men and the statue. After a short time, one of the guards comes running back to the temple and tells the women in white that he needs to see the king. The women tell him that the king has left and is no longer at the temple. The messenger didn’t believe them and rushed over to the temple to find the king. Thoas appears from within the temple and the messenger tells him that Iphigenia and the men got away on a boat with the statue. The king is furious and yells at the ladies in white. Suddenly, the room falls dark, and loud thunder rings throughout the building. When the lights come back on, Athena is standing center stage with a sword pointed at the king. She demands that he let Iphigenia leave and he quickly complies. As the floor lights come on, applause erupts throughout the theater and the play comes to an end. It was truly a heartwarming and amusing show.
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